Mochi is Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Mochi is called môa-chî in Taiwan.
Mochi usually comes filled with red bean paste, white bean paste, a strawberry or other fruit with red bean paste. It’s very often seen in the same colours, it’s own white colour, pink from food colouring, or it’s colored (and flavored) with green tea powder.
The recipe below is for sweet mochi, there are two variations included, one in which you wrap a ball of Anko (sweet red bean paste) with Mochi and make it into Daifuku Mochi, and the other where you put ice cream inside to make Mochi ice cream. You can also leave it as it is and coat it with some Kinako (soy bean powder).
- 1 cup Mochiko (sweet rice flour or Mochi flour) (160g)
- 3/4 cup water (180ml)
- 2 cups sugar (400g)
- Anko (sweet red bean paste) or Green Tea Ice Cream (If you want to try Mochi 2.0!)
- Mix Mochiko and water in a glass (or other heat proof) bowl and mix well. Add some more water if it’s too dry, 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Steam the Mochiko dough (leaving the dough in the bowl) in a steamer for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the steamed Mochi into a pot and cook at medium to medium low heat with 1/3 of the sugar (2/3 cup). When the sugar is completely dissolved, add another 1/3 of the sugar and mix well. Add the last part of the sugar and cook some more until the sugar is dissolved. Take the time to melt the sugar, but be careful not to burn it.
- Take the hot Mochi out from the pot onto a sheet pan liberally dusted with cornstarch. Shape as you like.
(Recipe source: japanesecooking101.com)
Mochiko can be a little difficult to get hold of, but luckily, the japancentre.com site sells it, and it’s also suitable for making dango, and Japanese dumplings!
Enjoy your delicious adventure into Japanese sweets!